The one problem for Summit Entertainment in regards to the life of the Twilight franchise is the lack of source material to rush more films out of. As we all know, it takes them a very short amount of time to make a Twilight movie and while the franchise is hot, they want to take advantage and get as much out there as possible.
For this reason, we saw The Twilight Saga: New Moon release only a year after the first one launched a phenomenon and why we’re getting the third installment, Eclipse less than a year after that. We also know that the the fourth book in the franchise, Breaking Dawn, will be split into two movies to take advantage of the wallets of Twilighters, bringing the movie count to 5 in a 4-year span.
Since the cast, now popular stars, were only contracted for four films, we can assume the studio paid them all a pretty penny to sign for a 5th to allow for two Breaking Dawn pictures – A worthwhile and obvious investment after the box office takes of the first two movies.
What’s the next step though? Author Stephenie Meyer had written a fifth book, a re-telling of the events of the original Twilight from the perspective of Edward but that was released online instead of becoming another best seller. According to Meyer, that was it. No more Twilight books.
But what about the money? There’s still money to be made. More money is good. What does that mean? Spin-offs!
Thanks to news today that Stephenie Meyer has changed her mind on the subject, we now know that she is indeed releasing another novel, although it’s not exactly another sequel. Instead, the next book in the Twilight series will be titled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. It will be a shorter 192-page novella which will focus on the newborn vampire, Bree, and act as supporting material for the third novel/movie, Eclipse.
In this summer’s Eclipse, Bree is played by Canadian actress Jodelle Ferland and with news of this novella coming out about her character, maybe she’ll have more work for Summit in a potential spin-off film after Breaking Dawn? Maybe not, but the material is helping some of the actors of such characters as Riley, Victoria, and Bree with their parts in the movie, directed by David Slade.
With this novella coming out for retail, breaking the mold of the 4-feature franchise, we now can expect that other spinoffs or similar side-stories could come out in the future. Will Summit take advantage and start screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg penning a script for this or other future side-stories?
All money jokes aside, the novella will be released for free online at www.breetanner.com from June 7th until July 5th and one dollar from each book sold in the US from its first printing will be donated to the America Red Cross, an absolutely worthy charity. That’s a very good gesture so no complaints here.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella is already available for pre-order and it releases June 5th.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse comes out later that month on June 30th. Expect both parts of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn to release in 2011.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes
Here’s a segment of Stephenie Meyer’s message. You can read the full post here.
This story was something that I worked on off and on for a while, just for fun, in between the times I was writing or editing other Twilight novels. Later, when the concept for The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide came up, I thought that might be a good place for Bree. Her story is a nice complement to Eclipse; it explains a lot of the things that Bella never knew. So I dusted it off and finished it up for placement in the Guide.
At the same time, it came in handy for the Eclipse film. Melissa (Rosenberg, the screenwriter) had a ton of questions about what exactly was going on in Seattle, how Victoria managed things, what Riley was like, etc. I let her read what I had then, and later gave the whole thing to the director, David Slade. David asked if Xavier, Bryce, and Jodelle (Riley, Victoria, and Bree) could read it as well, so all the parties involved would end up having a really strong foundation for their characters before the cameras started rolling. I was pleased that this side of the story would make it into the film and was looking forward to including it in the Guide.
Then I got the news: my “short story” was nearly 200 pages long when typeset. It was too long to fit into the Guide—without ending up with a tome as heavy as the Oxford English Dictionary. My publisher approached me with the idea of releasing the Bree story on its own. One of the major benefits of this plan was that it would be out before the movie, so people would get to know Bree before they saw her in the film. That made sense to me, and we decided to go ahead with it.
There was one thing I asked for: since this story had always been an extra for me, and was meant to be released with the Guide, I wanted to be able to offer it to my fans for free. You all have bought a ton of my books, and I wanted to give you this story as a gift. My publisher was awesome and embraced this idea. We still wanted to also produce a physical book with a cool cover (see below) that you can add to your set if you like, but starting at noon on June 7th until July 5th, it will also be available online at www.breetanner.com.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes